I own a timeshare – yes, I am one of “those” people that went to “the talk” when getting into the Cancun, Mexico airport and thought, heck, why not? I was 23, with my mother (taking her on vacation for her 50th birthday) and we decided we’d go in on it togehter and possibly wrangle in my other brother to join in on the cost. They sat us down and started at places for 30k per year, which was well out of my budget for being 23 and we whittled the price down to 10k for a double room (sleeps 10) every 2 years. Split that 3 ways and it was $3,333 for each of us to guarantee a place to vacation to every other year. It has a maintenance fee every 2 years of $700, so we pay $233 every 2 years ($115 per year or about $10 per month) to hold on to it. It gives my family which live at the closest point, 550 miles away a chance once every two years to vacation together. I enjoy it, it doesn’t bust the bank at $10/month and we’ve used it twice now and had a good time each time.
Clearly I’m the type of person they look for when flying in, but negotiating is the key. Just like a used car salesman DON’T say yes for at least the first hour or 2 of sitting down with the guy. You’ll find a better deal. I’m sure I could have held out for a better one, but I actually am very happy with it. It also has a caveat to it that says we don’t actually have to go to Mexico each year either – With Interval International we can go anywhere we want and just “bank” our week there at the Royal Sands.
So the question at hand is whether or not this can count towards being part of your net worth. Is it? I mean, technically speaking there are several ways to calculate it and none are the definitive answer. A few different views: Millionaire Next Door, Bargaineering, Young and Broke (also gives a good reason TO create the net worth), The Simple Dollar, Hellyer, MiserlyB (good comparison of pre or post-tax calculations), India4u (considers timeshare investments as part of the total), Punny (good point/battle for why it is a poor measure of wealth), and mine.
I know that it isn’t a GREAT investment vehicle, nor a good choice, but at 23 you’re not thinking about that stuff. So what do you do with it now? I think it is part of your net worth. If you break down net worth to its most basic, assets-liabilities. If you sold EVERYTHING you owned today, this would be one of them, I could sell it, yes. Maybe not for the 10k I bought it for, maybe more, maybe less, but I could sell it. Now the piece to the puzzle is how I calculate the worth of a timeshare. Anyone have any ideas?